In a mouth-watering Indian Premier League (IPL) final, Mumbai Indians (MI) beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by one run in Hyderabad to lift a record fourth silverware. CSK needed two runs off one ball to cross the line, but Lasith Malinga removed Shardul Thakur with a perfect Yorker on the last ball to seal the deal for Mumbai.
Having won the toss, Mumbai opted to bat first and put up only 149 runs on the board, a below-par total on the Hyderabad pitch. Deepak Chahar was once again outstanding with his pace and variation, picking up 3 crucial wickets at an economy of only 6. The pacer was well assisted by Shardul Thakur (2-37) and veteran spinner Imran Tahir (2-23).
Quinton de Kock (13-ball 26) gave Mumbai a quick start by smashing three sixes in the third over off Chahar, but Thakur sent him packing soon enough to ensure that the run-flow in the power-play stopped. After De Kock fell, skipper Rohit Sharma too walked backed very soon, courtesy a brilliant delivery from Chahar. Thereafter, CSK kept applying breaks one after the other. From 37/0 in the first four overs, Mumbai went down to 53/2 in the next four. Hardik Pandya looked good for a big innings, but Chahar’s exceptional pace ensured that the all-rounder departed for only 16 runs. Kieron Pollard’s 25-ball 47 was the only knock that stood out, and helped Mumbai reach 149.
149 is the kind of target which can be chased easily on a batting-friendly wicket, but not when you have the world’s best bowler Jasprit Bumrah in your ranks. Bumrah, with his two wickets (Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu) and a total of 13 dot balls, kept Mumbai alive in the game which had almost been taken away by Shane Watson alone.
The opening batsman (59-ball 80) was dismissed only in the last over of Chennai’s innings, which was the turning point of the game. With Faf du Plessis (13-ball 26), Suresh Raina (14-ball 8), MS Dhoni (8-ball 2), and Ambati Rayudu (4-ball 1) all failing, Watson was the lone warrior in Chennai’s chase. Having capitalised on a catch which Lasith Malinga dropped when he was on 31, the Australian almost took away the game from Mumbai. The experienced campaigner took Chennai closer to the total by smashing Malinga for three fours in the 16th over, and lofting Krunal Pandya for three consecutive sixes in the 18th.
A final over to remember
The equation came down CSK needing just 9 runs in the last over, with Watson and Ravindra Jadeja at the crease. The Mumbai skipper trusted Malinga for the final over, despite the Sri Lankan having been the most expensive bowler on the day.
However, the veteran pacer redeemed himself in the final over. The first ball was a beautiful Yorker which yielded Chennai only one run. This was repeated in the second delivery as well. The third ball again was a Yorker, but this time, Watson and Jadeja managed two quick runs.
The fourth ball, the turning point of the game, saw Watson getting involved in an unfortunate run-out, but the game was still in control of Chennai, who now needed 5 runs off 2 balls. Another two quick runs off the penultimate ball left CSK with a 2-runs-from-1-ball situation.
With bowler Shardul Thakur on strike, the best possible result could have been a draw and Super Over. But a slower full delivery from Malinga completely outfoxed Thakur, as Mumbai claimed undisputed supremacy by becoming the first team in the IPL to win four titles.
The awards that followed
Here is a quick look at who-won-what at the post-IPL ceremony.
Man of the Match – Jasprit Bumrah
Emerging player of the season – Shubman Gill (KKR)
Perfect catch of the season – Kieron Pollard (MI)
Stylish player of the season – KL Rahul (KXIP)
Purple cap – Imran Tahir (CSK)
Orange cap – David Warner (SRH)
Most Valuable Player – Andre Russell (KKR)
Super Striker of the Season – Andre Russell (KKR)
Fairplay award – Sunrisers Hyderabad